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GENETIC ENGINEERING

Genetic Engineering: The process of manipulating genes for practical purposes


- Example: Production of insulin for diabetic patients- the gene for insulin production is
extracted from normal functioning cells and inserted into bacteria where is can make insulin
the same way a human cell would.
Steps to Genetic Engineering:
1. The piece of DNA of interest is cut out using restriction enzymes. A vector then transports the
gene of interest into another cell. Examples of vectors include plasmids, viruses and yeast.
(Plasmid- circular piece of DNA that can replicate independently of the bacteria chromosomes)
2. Recombinant DNA is produced- joining of the cut out piece of DNA with the vector DNA.
3. Cloning: Many copies of the gene of interest are made each time the host cell replicates.

Process Used to Confirm that a Cloned Gene is Present: Gel Electrophoresis


1. DNA from the clone is isolated and cut out using restriction enzymes.
2. DNA fragments are separated by gel electrophoresis. The gel looks like a rectangular piece of
gelatin with some “pits” cut into it at one end. The DNA sample is placed in these pits and
electrical current is run through it. DNA is negatively charged, so it migrates toward the
positive pole where the current is applies. The smallest fragment move the fastest. A pattern of
bands is formed.
3. The bands are blotted onto a piece of filter paper.
4. The paper is moistened with a probe solution. A probe is DNA or RNA sequence that is
complementary to the gene of interest.
5. Only the DNA fragments complementary to the probe will bind with the probe and form visible
bands.

Genetic Engineering in Medicine:


Many genetic disorders and illnesses result when the body fails to make critical proteins for normal
functioning. Genetic engineering is used to help make some of these proteins.

Product: Used for treatment of:


Erythropoetin Anemia
Growth factors Burns, ulcers
Human growth hormone Growth defects
Interleukins HIV infection, cancer, and immune deficiencies
Interferons Viral infections and cancer
Taxol Ovarian cancer

~ Vaccines: solution containing all or part of a harmless version of a pathogen that is injected into the
body. Upon injection, the body begins to produce a defense by producing antibodies, so in the future
if the same pathogen enters the body, it can be combated and stopped before it can cause disease.
- Example: smallpox, polio, rabies; herpes II and hepatitis B are in the process

~ Gene Therapy: Technique that involves putting a healthy copy of a gene into the cells of a person
whose copy of the gene is defective.
- cancer, cystic fibrosis, hemophilia, rheumatoid arthritis

Human Genome Project: most significant efforts to increase the usefulness of gene technology.
- GOAL: determine the nucleotide sequence of the entire human genome and to map the location of
every gene on each chromosome